The following letter was emailed to families districtwide on Dec. 1, 2021.
Dear BC Parent/Guardian:
I am writing to inform you about the arrest of a Bethlehem Central High School student on Tuesday evening Nov. 30 by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. It has been alleged that the student made threats of violence against unspecified individuals at the high school in posts that appeared online on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The student has not been in school since the posts were reported to the police on Nov. 23.
The online incident was reported by an individual who notified the Bethlehem Police Department after seeing the threatening language last Tuesday. The Bethlehem Police Department quickly identified the individual responsible for the posts and notified the Albany County Sheriff’s Office immediately. The Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction in this matter.
On Tuesday evening, Nov. 30, the student was charged with one felony count of making a terroristic threat. The student was arraigned in the Albany County Court Youth Part and has been released to the custody of their family. The high school filed a complaint on Monday, Nov. 29 that resulted in the arrest. The school district is cooperating with the Sheriff’s Office in its investigation.
Yesterday, prior to an arrest being made, BCHS Principal David Doemel notified the high school community of the incident. In his letter, Principal Doemel stated that all threats of violence will be taken seriously and that the school will work with law enforcement to ensure students and staff are safe and feel safe at school.
I also want to assure all families that any instance of a threat made against a school in the Bethlehem Central School District will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As a school district, we also conduct our own investigation when an allegation of this nature is made. Any student found to be making any threat to the school community will be subject to discipline according to the district’s Code of Conduct.
As Principal Doemel did in his letter to high school families yesterday, I encourage all parents to discuss with their children the importance of speaking up if they see or hear anything out of the ordinary or if they are concerned about the well-being of a fellow student. The Bethlehem Police Department operates a Confidential Tip Line at 518-439-1503 for school and community use year-round.
School administrators, counselors, social workers, and other support staff are always available as resources for students and families. I encourage you to remind your students of this support system, which is an integral part of their school community every day.
Please be assured that a safe school environment remains our first priority.